NFL Week 1 open thread

posted at 11:01 am on September 9, 2012 by Ed Morrissey

Are you ready for some football?  Welcome back to my favorite time of year, when I have an easy post every Sunday morning that focuses on anything but politics, and when people across the political spectrum can agree on one thing: I’m gonna pick the Pittsburgh Steelers every single frickin’ week.  Get used to it, newbies.  And don’t forget the occasional crying/gloating over Notre Dame football, which is off to a 2-0 start for the first time in what seems like decades after yesterday’s come-from-behind win over Purdue.

But we’re here to talk about NFL football and my weekly argument (rationalization) for a Steelers win.  Today they’re on the road in Denver, where Peyton Manning now plays after what should have been a career-ending neck injury two seasons ago.  Pittsburgh lost their last game of the season in Denver in OT despite a gutsy performance by a hobbled Ben Roethlisberger, thanks to the heroics of Tim Tebow, who got rewarded by being sent to the New York Jets to sit on the bench.  The Steelers come into Denver dinged up again, with James Harrison and Rashard Mendenhall both sitting out the game, and of course Ryan Clark unable to play in Denver ever.  Still, the Steelers O-line improved in the off-season, and the defense looked sharp in pre-season as well.  Manning has a new team and a new system, and I’m not sure that Denver improved much of anything in the off-season.  I’m picking the Steelers to win by four, 21-17.

Last season, my record was 70-24, so it’s not like I don’t get some picks correct.  I also got the Super Bowl pick right after going about .500 in playoff picks.  Let’s highlight five more games for this week and see how I start off the season:

  • 49ers at Packers — Both teams were strong last year, but I’m not going against the Pack at home, not even in relatively warm weather.  Green Bay 31-21 over San Francisco.
  • Jaguars at Vikings — Both teams were relentlessly mediocre last year, but the Vikings’ big problem was a QB deficiency and an inability to hold a lead.  I’m assuming they’ve worked on both in the off-season.  I’ll pick the Vikings to be up by three TDs at the half and win 27-24 in the end.
  • Colts at Bears — Andrew Luck, welcome to the NFL. Don’t expect to beat the Monsters of Midway, who may not be able to win this division but are still a better team on paper than last year’s Luck-less Colts.  The line has the Bears up by 10, and that sounds about right.  Chicago wins 31-21.
  • Patriots at Titans — Tom Brady will be looking for some redemption after losing a second time to the New York Giants in the Super Bowl, and the Titans aren’t a good enough team to stand in his way.  New England 35-17 over the Titans.
  • Bengals at Ravens — As a Steelers fan, I’m hoping they both lose.  I’d prefer that Baltimore gets off to the slower start … but I don’t think I’ll get my wish.  Ravens win 24-14 over Cincinnati.

 


Related Posts:

Breaking on Hot Air

Blowback

Note from Hot Air management: This section is for comments from Hot Air's community of registered readers. Please don't assume that Hot Air management agrees with or otherwise endorses any particular comment just because we let it stand. A reminder: Anyone who fails to comply with our terms of use may lose their posting privilege.

Trackbacks/Pings

Trackback URL

Comments

Comment pages: 1 2 3

Stafford with 3 (THREE!!) interceptions in the first half.
Pettigrew drops a TD ’cause it was a little high.

(Sigh.)

RedCrow on September 9, 2012 at 2:24 PM

…and he pulls it out with 2 minutes left again!
I’m going to have to get a set of those paddles EMS units have!

KOOLAID2 on September 9, 2012 at 4:17 PM

Oh my they actually won.

Gophers 2-0 / Vikings 1-0

I feel light headed.

gophergirl on September 9, 2012 at 4:14 PM

See above post and reference to deep breaths.

msupertas on September 9, 2012 at 4:18 PM

Lions take it! Man that was close.

Ugly on September 9, 2012 at 4:19 PM

Redskins intercept!!!!!!!!!

Ball on Saints 3 yard line.

say goodnight.

Tim_CA on September 9, 2012 at 4:21 PM

Waiting on the 8:20 game. Maybe it’ll be in a blizzard. Think I remember one back in the day went I went to tech school there. Late Sept maybe.

msupertas on September 9, 2012 at 4:23 PM

So my Rams ended up losing. :(

But I like what I saw.

Defense causing turnovers and a WR actually making a play.

fatlibertarianinokc on September 9, 2012 at 4:27 PM

Ouch.

Head shot – personal foul.

Good clock management – saints will score on this drive.

Tim_CA on September 9, 2012 at 4:29 PM

Saints still need some work. Especially the D.

Brees is making it interesting though!

Del Dolemonte on September 9, 2012 at 4:30 PM

My game doesn’t start till late.

Who’s going to win, GB or SF?

jaime on September 9, 2012 at 4:32 PM

Saints still need some work. Especially the D.

Brees is making it interesting though!

Del Dolemonte on September 9, 2012 at 4:30 PM

Been a great game – both teams showing some serious hustle.

Redskins will get off the kick 25 seconds before the 2 min warning.

Let’s watch the Redskins lay waste to the clock.

Tim_CA on September 9, 2012 at 4:34 PM

WHO DAT.

Christien on September 9, 2012 at 4:35 PM

Griffen broke 300 yards.

Tim_CA on September 9, 2012 at 4:37 PM

My game doesn’t start till late.

Who’s going to win, GB or SF?

jaime on September 9, 2012 at 4:32 PM

Hopefully SF.

gophergirl on September 9, 2012 at 4:38 PM

Woof. Ugly ugly win for the Iggles. Browns did everything they could, even put the worst 4th-and-1 head coach in NFL history in a 4th-and-1. He converts! Super Bowl here we come. Michael Vick, though. Woof! Trades INTs with the doomed rookie all game and comes through with a winning sustained drive. Game ball goes to McCoy however.

curved space on September 9, 2012 at 4:43 PM

Hopefully SF.

gophergirl on September 9, 2012 at 4:38 PM

I don’t have a dog in that fight. The line is GB -5, SF is the underdog.

I was thinking this would be the game of the afternoon (main event tonight), so I’m considering watching it. DVR out the commercials.

jaime on September 9, 2012 at 4:45 PM

Spectacular ending – Redskins intercept the hail mary.

Great game.

Tim_CA on September 9, 2012 at 4:45 PM

My game doesn’t start till late.

Who’s going to win, GB or SF?

jaime on September 9, 2012 at 4:32 PM

Saw a poster on another forum who said that SF had a rather easy schedule last year compared to the schedule they have to play this year. They’ll have to play the AFC East this year, which includes playing at NE and also at the NY Jets, and they will also have to play all of the NFC North teams, including games VS GB and CHI and MINN-and they have to play GB and MINN on the road. In addition, the Niners also have to play the Saints and Giants, and have to go into Saints-land.

If they can go 10-6 or better this season with that schedule, they are definitely for real.

Del Dolemonte on September 9, 2012 at 4:46 PM

Wow. Saints made a ton of mistakes, and still came close.

But that D needs to tighten up. Giving up 40 points is absolutely unacceptable.

Del Dolemonte on September 9, 2012 at 4:47 PM

So far I’m 2-0.

Come on Cheesers and Kaw Kaws tomorrow night.

PappyD61 on September 9, 2012 at 4:49 PM

Wow. Saints made a ton of mistakes, and still came close.

But that D needs to tighten up. Giving up 40 points is absolutely unacceptable.

Del Dolemonte on September 9, 2012 at 4:47 PM

Especially to a rookie QB. Not that RGIII is an ordinary rookie, that kid has some skill.

D-fusit on September 9, 2012 at 4:50 PM

I got my Lions.

Now please….pleeeaaaase give me my 49ers.

Tim_CA on September 9, 2012 at 4:52 PM

Del Dolemonte on September 9, 2012 at 4:46 PM

Not that I’m trying to contradict you, but the 49ers schedule is 24th most difficult in the NFL this year.

Combined won/lost record of opponents = 125 / 131.

Average winning percentage of opponents = 48.8% (.488).

I’m guessing that their strength of schedule has a lot to do with the division they play in.

The SF schedule this year is harder than it was last year, when they had the 30th most difficult schedule in the NFL.

The Giants have the hardest schedule this year, followed by Denver and Cleveland.

jaime on September 9, 2012 at 5:02 PM

Niners 10, Packers Zip (early in second qtr) YES!

Rovin on September 9, 2012 at 5:14 PM

Football sucks-baseball rules…and hellooooo weekend!

annoyinglittletwerp on September 9, 2012 at 5:16 PM

Wow. Saints made a ton of mistakes, and still came close.

But that D needs to tighten up. Giving up 40 points is absolutely unacceptable.

Del Dolemonte on September 9, 2012 at 4:47 PM

Especially to a rookie QB. Not that RGIII is an ordinary rookie, that kid has some skill.

D-fusit on September 9, 2012 at 4:50 PM

Yup, he’s already doing Subway commercials!

Del Dolemonte on September 9, 2012 at 5:19 PM

The officials in the GB/49ers game are replacements and it shows – both teams have had horrible calls.

Green_Bay_Packers on September 9, 2012 at 5:21 PM

Football sucks-baseball rules…and hellooooo weekend!

annoyinglittletwerp on September 9, 2012 at 5:16 PM

*fingers in ears*

LALALALALALALALALA

(trouble maker)

Tim_CA on September 9, 2012 at 5:24 PM

Green_Bay_Packers on September 9, 2012 at 5:21 PM

That explains alot.

(we have the sound turned down here)

Tim_CA on September 9, 2012 at 5:26 PM

jaime on September 9, 2012 at 5:02 PM

All I am getting at is that their schedule this year is tougher than their schedule was last year.

But you have a valid point about the relationship between the strength of schedule and the division the team is in. Back in the late 1960s, thru the 1970s and 1980s and 1990s, SF’s strength of schedule was relatively easy primarily because of the fact that they were in the stupidly-named “NFC West”, which included a team from Georgia and another from Louisiana (and later also one from Carolina!). During those decades SF dominated the “NFC West”, and except for the Rams in the 1970s SF basically owned the division.

But since the realignment 10 years ago SF has only won that division 2 times.

Del Dolemonte on September 9, 2012 at 5:27 PM

The officials in the GB/49ers game are replacements and it shows – both teams have had horrible calls.

Green_Bay_Packers on September 9, 2012 at 5:21 PM

I’m not a football guru, but are they blind? Wow! For that fact alone, I’m going for GB!

bluefox on September 9, 2012 at 5:34 PM

Football sucks-baseball rules…and hellooooo weekend!

annoyinglittletwerp on September 9, 2012 at 5:16 PM

*fingers in ears*

LALALALALALALALALA

(trouble maker)

Tim_CA on September 9, 2012 at 5:24 PM

If it makes you feel better, my favorite teams are the Cubbies and the ‘Stros-so baseball pretty much sucks too.

annoyinglittletwerp on September 9, 2012 at 5:43 PM

Hat tip to Griffin III. Great first game. Showed a lot of poise and some good clutch throws under pressure. ‘Skins fans have to be very happy with that performance!

cane_loader on September 9, 2012 at 5:46 PM

So far in the GB game

We’ve had a helmet throw flag – shouldn’t have been called

Roughing the passer which wasn’t

A offensive false start – wasn’t called

Offensive PI called that was total BS

And a few more questionable things

We need the regular refs back

Green_Bay_Packers on September 9, 2012 at 5:48 PM

The officials in the GB/49ers game are replacements and it shows – both teams have had horrible calls.

Green_Bay_Packers on September 9, 2012 at 5:21 PM

It doesn’t just show–the officials in this game flat-out suck. They’re so blind, inconsistent and contradictory with their calls, they clearly don’t know what they’re doing! They’ve made the first half interminable.

stukinIL4now on September 9, 2012 at 5:59 PM

David Akers ties NFL record field goal–63 yards—as time runs out in the first half………..49ers 16, Packers 7

Rovin on September 9, 2012 at 6:04 PM

Offensive PI called that was total BS….Green_Bay_Packers on September 9, 2012 at 5:48 PM

So, according to your rules GBP, the offensive player can grab the defender’s shirt, shove him back two feet, catch the ball, and there’s no penalty? Got it!

I’ll agree, the refs clearly suck, but that was a correct call.

Rovin on September 9, 2012 at 6:08 PM

It doesn’t just show–the officials in this game flat-out suck. They’re so blind, inconsistent and contradictory with their calls, they clearly don’t know what they’re doing! They’ve made the first half interminable.

stukinIL4now on September 9, 2012 at 5:59 PM

Hilarious…..over here we’ve got the sound back on and we’re scrutinizing every friggin’ call now.

How about a weekly “wild card officiating crew” of inexperienced refs randomly hitting one game a week?

lol….Tell me you wouldn’t watch.

Tim_CA on September 9, 2012 at 6:09 PM

David Akers ties NFL record field goal–63 yards—as time runs out in the first half………..49ers 16, Packers 7

Rovin on September 9, 2012 at 6:04 PM

Awesome kick! Still rooting for GB though… maybe they can pull a Stafford out of helmet.

Ugly on September 9, 2012 at 6:13 PM

David Akers ties NFL record field goal–63 yards—as time runs out in the first half………..49ers 16, Packers 7

Rovin on September 9, 2012 at 6:04 PM

He’s now the third kicker to do it, correct?

Del Dolemonte on September 9, 2012 at 6:13 PM

He’s now the third kicker to do it, correct?

Del Dolemonte on September 9, 2012 at 6:13 PM

They just counted four players Del.

Rovin on September 9, 2012 at 6:15 PM

So, according to your rules GBP, the offensive player can grab the defender’s shirt, shove him back two feet, catch the ball, and there’s no penalty? Got it!
I’ll agree, the refs clearly suck, but that was a correct call.
Rovin on September 9, 2012 at 6:08 PM

The defender initiated contact on Finley – he pushed back – if you’re gonna call finely ya gotta call the defensive PI too.

Green_Bay_Packers on September 9, 2012 at 6:21 PM

Tom Dempsey of New Orleans Saints On November 8, 1970 (I saw this kick live on TV)

Jason Elam of the Denver Broncos tied the 28-year-old NFL record of Tom Dempsey on Oct. 25, 1998

September 12, 2011, Sebastian Janikowski of the Oakland Raiders tied the NFL field goal distance mark with a 63 yard field goal.

And now David Akers………….

Rovin on September 9, 2012 at 6:24 PM

um….wow.

$20 sez that TD gets called back.

Tim_CA on September 9, 2012 at 6:31 PM

Congratulations Ed, you almost perfectly nailed the final score in that New England-Tennessee game!

TarheelBen on September 9, 2012 at 6:34 PM

Del Dolemonte on September 9, 2012 at 6:13 PM

They just counted four players Del.

Rovin on September 9, 2012 at 6:15 PM

Oh yeah I forgot about the one last year by Janakowski.

However, I will always consider Tom Dempsey’s kick the Gold Standard (until someone kicks one 64 yards!) That’s because he kicked his record setter at sea level. Elam and Janakowski kicked their a mile above sea level. The one Akers hit today was at 640 feet ASL.

Oh, and Tom Dempsey also kicked with a physical disability. That alone makes his kick even more memorable.

Del Dolemonte on September 9, 2012 at 6:59 PM

And don’t forget the occasional crying/gloating over Notre Dame football, which is off to a 2-0 start for the first time in what seems like decades after yesterday’s come-from-behind win over Purdue.

excerpt: Ed Morrisey

.
I won’t hold it against you, if you won’t hold it against me for crying over Penn State’s apparent 0-12 season, just getting under way.
.
BTW, congratulations to Notre Dame. They earned it.

listens2glenn on September 9, 2012 at 7:02 PM

Football sucks-baseball rules…and hellooooo weekend!

annoyinglittletwerp on September 9, 2012 at 5:16 PM

.
There’s nothing wrong with liking baseball, but saying “football sucks” is un-American.

We’ll be keeping a closer eye on you, from here out . . . . .

listens2glenn on September 9, 2012 at 7:07 PM

Honest to God…..the officiating at the niners/greenbay game has been a bigger factor than the play-stats.

Amazing and Hilarious.

Tim_CA on September 9, 2012 at 7:10 PM

Amazing and Hilarious.

Tim_CA on September 9, 2012 at 7:10 PM

Unreal.

Ugly on September 9, 2012 at 7:15 PM

Honest to God…..the officiating at the niners/greenbay game has been a bigger factor than the play-stats.

Amazing and Hilarious.

Tim_CA on September 9, 2012 at 7:10 PM

What just happened during the Packers last scoring drive?

CW on September 9, 2012 at 7:18 PM

What just happened during the Packers last scoring drive?

CW on September 9, 2012 at 7:18 PM

They missed an illegal block in the back….AFTER…..reviewing the play.

Tim_CA on September 9, 2012 at 7:20 PM

Holy crap. GB is getting creamed.

Ugly on September 9, 2012 at 7:22 PM

Man the refs calling the GB/SF game are terrible.

gophergirl on September 9, 2012 at 7:25 PM

TWO blocks in the back! One maybe questionable, the other a blatant block in the back….and GB scores. Never mind! Rodgers intercepted…..GORE SCORES! Niners 30, Packers 15

Rovin on September 9, 2012 at 7:25 PM

Another late flag

Ugly on September 9, 2012 at 7:27 PM

wtf?

if that flag was any later…it’d be tomorrow.

Tim_CA on September 9, 2012 at 7:27 PM

Nice TD pass there!

Ugly on September 9, 2012 at 7:32 PM

OT:

The DEVGRU (SEAL Team 6) commander who authored the new book on the OBL take down, pen name Mark Owen, is on ’60 Minutes’, starting now. I don’t watch that POS show or network as a rule, but tonight it might be worth a click, before tonight’s Steelers/Broncs game.

TXUS on September 9, 2012 at 7:38 PM

LOL sack!!! Good job Matthews!!!!

Ugly on September 9, 2012 at 7:38 PM

what a game.

Tim_CA on September 9, 2012 at 7:50 PM

9′rs win!

Ugly on September 9, 2012 at 7:50 PM

More weirdness with the officials at seattle/arizona

Tim_CA on September 9, 2012 at 7:56 PM

Don’t doubt my Red and Gold!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

JAGonzo on September 9, 2012 at 7:57 PM

Niners are Undefeated, when will you learn, Ed?

JayHaw Phrenzie on September 9, 2012 at 7:57 PM

More weirdness with the officials at seattle/arizona

Tim_CA on September 9, 2012 at 7:56 PM

Time to get back to the table with the real officials.

gophergirl on September 9, 2012 at 7:57 PM

“D”

Sez AZ….!

Tim_CA on September 9, 2012 at 7:58 PM

Congratulations Ed, you almost perfectly nailed the final score in that New England-Tennessee game!
TarheelBen on September 9, 2012 at 6:34 PM

Kind of makes up for his ‘margin of error” in the Packers/Niners game. :)

Rovin on September 9, 2012 at 8:00 PM

Wow, Faith Hill!! Still miss Hank Jr. tho.

Best Schedule I’ve found:

http://www.cbssports.com/nfl/schedules/regular/2012/week1

bluefox on September 9, 2012 at 8:23 PM

Goodell’s Super Bowl reservations in NOLA all get cancelled at the last second–that would be a shame. ;p

Christien on September 9, 2012 at 8:26 PM

Steeler time, baby. Hope we got the good refs.

msupertas on September 9, 2012 at 8:39 PM

the Steelers suck. Fat boy needs to hang it up or lose 30 pounds.

tomas on September 9, 2012 at 9:03 PM

Niners are Undefeated, when will you learn, Ed?

JayHaw Phrenzie on September 9, 2012 at 7:57 PM

So is Arizona. And since they’re in your division and beat a team in your division today, tonight you’re technically in second place.

Don’t Panic.

BTW us Pats fans get the AZ Cards next Sunday in the home opener at Chuck Schick stadium.

Del Dolemonte on September 9, 2012 at 9:58 PM

the Steelers suck. Fat boy needs to hang it up or lose 30 pounds.

tomas on September 9, 2012 at 9:03 PM

Wow good one. /

What is this high school?

CW on September 9, 2012 at 10:07 PM

99 offside

Ugly on September 9, 2012 at 10:12 PM

The officiating is bad but probably about the same as with the normal refs.

CW on September 9, 2012 at 10:24 PM

Peyton pulls one off

Ugly on September 9, 2012 at 10:30 PM

Peyton pulls one off

Ugly on September 9, 2012 at 10:30 PM

You mean one of his teammates pulled on a Steelers’ jersey.

CW on September 9, 2012 at 10:32 PM

Yeah that.

Ugly on September 9, 2012 at 10:50 PM

Steelers might need that point they wasted later.

forest on September 9, 2012 at 11:00 PM

Peyton looked good tonight. Denver just needs to decide if they have a pass defense to win this one.

Gingotts on September 9, 2012 at 11:27 PM

Peyton looked good tonight. Denver just needs to decide if they have a pass defense to win this one.

Gingotts on September 9, 2012 at 11:27 PM

Talk about great timing.

Hot Gas on September 9, 2012 at 11:32 PM

Pick-six, Tracy Porter!

Take it away, Ace.

Christien on September 9, 2012 at 11:37 PM

Wow, Manning and the Broncs are HOT!!

bluefox on September 9, 2012 at 11:37 PM

Talk about great timing.

Hot Gas on September 9, 2012 at 11:32 PM

Yep. :)

Actually some would say Porter had the great timing getting that pick, but I credit myself for making the gutsy call of posting that then.

Well 1-0 for my new team.

Gingotts on September 9, 2012 at 11:37 PM

Denver beat the Steelers…?

(chortle)

(snork)

(gmpha…)

BBBBBBBWWWWWWWWWWWAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHAHAHAHAHAHAH…!!!

Seven Percent Solution on September 9, 2012 at 11:48 PM

Refs weren’t half bad, but the steelers weren’t half good.

msupertas on September 10, 2012 at 12:02 AM

I knew Peyton would shine tonight.

He knows the price of failure and lost a SB run to Pgh.

The last Savior with the Meth Amp horse on his helmet is playing special teams in New York. And cervical fusion or no, Peyton would probably look worse at that than tossing a football around.

IlikedAUH2O on September 10, 2012 at 1:06 AM

Ed ain’t gonna like this!

KOOLAID2 on September 10, 2012 at 2:01 AM

Maybe now Tomlin will finally get Ben’s concussion looked at. *facepalm*

BemusedMalkinite on September 10, 2012 at 3:02 AM

GO BRONCOS!!

airmonkey on September 10, 2012 at 9:00 AM

It was a real pleasure watching Peyton Manning play again. I thought his career was over with those surgeries. So glad I was wrong. If you use Ed’s picks to bet on games remember two things: Blind pigs/acorns and fools & their money.

swinia sutki on September 10, 2012 at 3:49 PM

I’m picking the Steelers to win by four, 21-17.

The actual result was Broncos 31 Steelers 19

49ers at Packers — Both teams were strong last year, but I’m not going against the Pack at home, not even in relatively warm weather. Green Bay 31-21 over San Francisco.

The actual result was 49ers 30 Packers 22

Jaguars at Vikings — Both teams were relentlessly mediocre last year, but the Vikings’ big problem was a QB deficiency and an inability to hold a lead. I’m assuming they’ve worked on both in the off-season. I’ll pick the Vikings to be up by three TDs at the half and win 27-24 in the end

The actual result was Jaguars 23 Vikings 26

Colts at Bears — Andrew Luck, welcome to the NFL. Don’t expect to beat the Monsters of Midway, who may not be able to win this division but are still a better team on paper than last year’s Luck-less Colts. The line has the Bears up by 10, and that sounds about right. Chicago wins 31-21.

Actual result Colts 21 Bears 41

Patriots at Titans — Tom Brady will be looking for some redemption after losing a second time to the New York Giants in the Super Bowl, and the Titans aren’t a good enough team to stand in his way. New England 35-17 over the Titans.

Actual result Patriots 34 Titans 13

Bengals at Ravens — As a Steelers fan, I’m hoping they both lose. I’d prefer that Baltimore gets off to the slower start … but I don’t think I’ll get my wish. Ravens win 24-14 over Cincinnati.

Actual result Bengals 13 Ravens 44

It looks like you came out with 4 correct picks and 3 incorrect picks (4-3). Not bad Ed, but I don’t think picking the Bengals, Colts, and Titans to lose really required a crystal ball. I can’t wait to see how you do next week! :)

Dollayo on September 11, 2012 at 4:51 AM

Comment pages: 1 2 3